A little about Roger J. Green, in his own words . . .


I was born and grew up in Derbyshire, England in the 1940's and '50's in Bakewell, a market town right in the centre of the Peak District. It was a town very different from the town you find today. Bakewell in the 1950's apart from the cars was still a Victorian place to live. I always feel I grew up at the fag end of the Victorian age. Let me give a few examples. On May 24th we celebrated Empire Day when we were in the infant school; and said a prayer by the Union Jack and had a holiday. Steam trains chugged up and down the valley loaded with coal and steam driven expresses flashed by between Manchester and London. When my mother took me to church we could not sit where we liked because the word RESERVED was painted on the best pews near the front. I was caned for laughing at the wrong time in the Infant School and at the Grammar School many teachers wore a black gown to teach in. My only contact with the head teacher of the grammar school was when he stopped me and said "Ah… you are the boy who does not touch his cap to me when I pass on my car." On market days the farmers brought their animals in by driving them on the road and down the road from the station. I used to press myself against the walls on Bakewell Bridge as herds of terrified cows and sheep galloped by.

All this sounds very grim and some of it was. But I had parents who cared for me and the countryside seemed a very safe place. We cycled and roamed for miles without any adult needing to keep an eye on us. Pollution had not yet seriously affected the birds and flowers. Farming still was practised as it had been for hundreds of years. In the summer the farmers cut fields full of long grass and wonderful wild flowers and made hay for the winter. Making hay and building a haystack of fragrant dried grass and flowers was a wonderful experience. Life seemed very good. I knew nothing of war or cruelty. Only the ruined buildings in Sheffield left over from the Nazi attacks of the 1940 raids warned me that the world for some could be a dangerous place.

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